Multiflora Productions Presents Zerzura: A Saharan Acid Western
“Zerzura” is a feature length film shot in the Sahara desert by Sahel Sounds and the nascent Imouhar Studio. Mixing folktales and documentary, the film follows a young man from in Niger who leaves home in search of an enchanted oasis. His journey leads him into a surreal vision of the Sahara, crossing paths with djinn, bandits, gold seekers, and migrants. A folktale transposed onto an acid western, the film is a collaborative fiction, written and developed with a Tuareg cast, and shot in and around Agadez, Niger.
Over the past decades, Agadez has reestablished itself as a hub of movement across the desert. Migrants throughout the continent stop here on their perilous trek North, bound for mythic cities in Europe. Tales of gold in the desert abound, and men sell their houses for gold detectors. Young Tuareg leave home to seek their fortune in the fractured Libyan state. As people leave, stories return, becoming folklore, apocryphal and wildly exaggerated versions of truth.
In the style of “ethnofiction” proposed by Jean Rouch, “Zerzura” is a window into Saharan dreams and imagination, a folktale about the universal drive to search for something that we know is likely false and unwavering faith in the face of realism. In an American-Tuareg production, a script written and developed collaboratively and largely improvised performances, the film plays with mutual exoticism to create a trans-cultural fiction. “Zerzura” asks “what we are looking for in the desert, and what do we meet in these empty places?
This film screening is co-presented with Suns Cinema and Sahel Sounds as part Multiflora Productions’ annual month-long DIY global music festival “Flash of the Spirit” that happens across multiple venues in Washington DC during the month of October. Its mission is to present emerging and remarkable international musicians from abroad as well as local musicians from our diverse immigrant communities to celebrate their stories, heritage, and cultures through their music.
- 10/23 | 8:00PM